Whale sails the Penobscot River in 2002

by Barbara Garland

Maine has always been a of favorite cruising ground of ours. Our last trip to Maine was in August of 2002. We started the trip late afternoon after launching from Rockland Maine. We headed out across Penobscot Bay, through Fox Island Thorofare, and half way through Deer Island Thorofare. We spent the night in Webb Cove on the Deer Island Thorofare and the next morning headed through Casco Passage so we could see Mount Desert. We decided that would be a trip for another year - I guess one never knows what life will bring. We headed up Eggemuggin Reach and past Castine to Fort Point Cove at the mouth of the Penobscot River.

Fort Point Light at the mouth of the Penobscot River

The plan was to head out at about 8 am and head up the river with the tide. We had the current with us and a slight breeze so we didn't have to motor. August was warm and as we headed inland we were reminded of that. No cooling sea breeze. It was one of the most pleaent days I can remember in Maine. The sights were also spectacular. As we sailed up the river the first sight was the Rt 1 Bridge - the southern most crossing of the bay. The town of Bucksport can be seen in the distance.

A view of Bucksport and the Rt 1 bridge

We stopped in Bucksport and had lunch. Docking was easy at the town dock and there was a restaurant right on the water. That was probably one of the few times I got Roger on shore for lunch and he (and I) were annoyed when lunch took such a long time but the view was spectacular with Fort Knox right across the river. Our plan was to head a little further up the river and then return on the outgoing tide. I was hoping not to get too far up the river - hence the lunch stop.

Fort Knox as viewed from Bucksport

The river takes a sharp left turn at Bucksport and right around the corner is a paper mill. It is a massive structure and attests to the fact that there are still working industries on the river. After leaving Bucksport and the mill the river becomes peaceful again.

The Paper Mill

The shores are tree lined with a few houses. Though there were miles to go up river the current turned and we headed back out the river. Though the wind was blowing up the river we opted to tack down river and the current helped our progress. The breeze was still warm - the temperature was 90+ on shore.

Our goal for the evening was Stockton Harbor - an unupopulated location - well protected - with just the hum of a factory to disturb the night. At the north end of Penobscot Bay, this gives us a nice long sail back to Rockland. As per usual, the fog set in and we woke up to pea soup fog and no wind. We've done this before. There is very little boat traffic at this end of the bay so we ventured out. Slowly the fog lifted and the wind set in. We ghosted down as far as Camden and the wind quit. While waiting for the sea breeze to set in we took a motor tour of Camden again. It was worse than we had remembered. There were boats everywhere, no place to anchor, no place to dock. Though we weren't looking to spend much time on shore, an icecream would have been nice. I, however got some great light house pictures on the way out of the harbor

Because they kept changing the weather forcast (for the better/ warmer/ no storms tomorrow) we spent another day just sailing around Rockland. Of course there were schooners out there to take pictures of

and Owls Head Light

and Rockland light.

We finally ran out of food after 5 days (we had planned to stay 3 maybe 4) we headed home. The weather stayed hot and storm free for the next 4 days so we could have stayed a lot longer. Hind sight is 20-20.